At long last, the VRR update for PS5 is rolling out around the world. VRR is a really big deal for gamers, and given that Sony promised it on the actual PS5 packaging its delivery is long overdue. Still, better late than never.
VRR, short for Variable Refresh Rate, improves your gaming experience by seamlessly changing the frame rate without causing any visual issues, such as screen tearing: if your TV and console frame rate don’t match, you can get a juddering effect and a weird on-screen split. With VRR, the console tells the TV what refresh rate to use to prevent that from happening.
That’s the good news. Now for the bad. Your TV needs to have HDMI 2.1 ports or Sony’s implementation of VRR won’t work, and for now those ports tend to be limited to the best gaming monitors, the best gaming TVs and some affordable 4K TVs. But if your TV has the right ports, VRR will make your gaming experience much smoother and eradicate on-screen irritations.
Although Sony’s VRR will work with any game – once you’ve got the software update, go into Settings > Screen and Video > Video Output and toggle on Apply To Unsupported Games – there are some games that have been specifically optimized to take full advantage of VRR, consistently delivering the highest possible resolution in every scene. And the list of VRR optimized PS5 games includes some of my favourites.
Which PS5 games have been optimized for VRR?
The VRR-optimized games are:
• Astro’s Playroom
• Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
• Call of Duty: Vanguard
• Destiny 2
• Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition
• DIRT 5
• Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered
• Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
• Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
• Resident Evil Village
• Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands
• Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
• Tribes of Midgard
I’ll be honest: screen tear hasn’t been an issue for me in gentle games such as Astro’s Playroom. But screen tear is much more likely in fast-moving, action-packed and often very intense titles such as the brilliant Miles Morales, old favorite Destiny 2 and Dirt 5, so if you’ve been experiencing issues with those games the VRR update will make you very happy indeed.
Although most of the focus on VRR has been about games, it’s worth mentioning that something similar to screen tearing can be an issue with other TV hardware: my Apple TV 4K had really bad juddering on some of its TV streaming apps until I went into the system settings and got it to match the refresh rate of my Samsung TV.